MY 2011/12 (October-September) total pulse production is estimated at 4.2 million metric tons
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: CH11060
China - Peoples Republic of
Edible Beans Annual 2011
Grain and Feed
Joshua Emmanuel Lagos, Zhang Lei, and Wang Jun
MY 2011/12 (October-September) total pulse production is estimated at 4.2 million metric tons (MMT),
a 7 percent increase on higher broad bean production. Kidney bean production is forecast to drop 20
percent, as more farmers have switched to corn because of rising labor costs and high corn prices,
which provide relatively larger potential profit margins. In MY 2011/12, China's dry pea imports are
expected to decline 10 percent on high global prices.
MY 2011/12 (October-September) total pulse production is estimated at 4.2 million metric tons (MMT), a 7 percent increase
on higher broad bean production. Kidney bean production is forecast to drop 20 percent, as more farmers have switched to
corn because of rising labor costs and high corn prices, which provide relatively larger potential profit margins.
Pulse production accounts for less than 1 percent of China’s annual grain and feed output, and receives no production
support from the central government. Please refer to CH1016 for more general information regarding China’s pulse harvest
procedure, processing operations, and transportation details.
Kidney Bean Production Drops 21 Percent on Less Planted Acreage
For MY 2011/12, kidney bean production is estimated at 750,000 MT, a 21 percent drop due to less planted acreage. Kidney
bean acreage declined over 30 percent in Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia, the top two kidney bean production areas
(Xinjiang, Yunnan and Guizhou are also major kidney bean producers). Because of rising labor costs and high corn prices,
which provide relatively larger potential profit margins, most farmers planted corn in lieu of kidney beans, although a few
planted soybeans and mung beans. Local kidney bean farmers noted from 2009  to 2011 labor costs climbed significantly,
rising from RMB 600 to 800 per HA ($80 to $110) to RMB 1,200 to 1,500 per HA ($190 to $240), almost a 140 percent
increase. Chinese labor is paid by the amount of hectares harvested, not by the hour.
Because of higher profit potential in corn, industry contacts believe that kidney bean acreage may continue to decline, which
will keep kidney bean prices elevated. For example, from November to August 2011, the price of speckled kidney rose 68
percent to RMB 6,700 per MT ($1,055 per MT). During the same timeframe, the price of dark red increased 16 percent to
RMB 8,000 per MT ($1260 per MT).
Broad Bean Production to Rebound to 1.8 MMT due to Favorable Weather
For MY 2011/12, broad bean production is estimated at 1.8 million metric tons (MMT), 13 percent up from the previous year
on favorable weather. Last year, a severe drought in Yunnan province, which comprises over 30 percent of China’s total
broad bean planting area, caused production to drop 30 percent.
China produces autumn (planted in autumn) and spring (planted in spring) broad beans. Out of China’s total broad bean
production, 90 percent are autumn broad beans (produced in Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Hubei), while 10 percent are
the spring variety (produced in Gansu, Qinghai, and Ningxia).
Mung Bean Production Grows to 980,000 MT on Increased Acreage
In MY 2011/12, mung bean production is projected at 980,000 MT, up 3 percent due to increased acreage on expectations of
continued strong profits. As total supplies are higher than domestic demand (for the last few years extremely high mung
bean prices caused many vermecilli processors to substitute mung beans with imported dried peas (see Consumption and
Trade section)), mung bean prices are not expected to remain strong. According to industry sources, in November 2011,
mung bean prices were RMB 7,000 to 8,000 per MT ($1,100 to $1260 per MT), 22 percent less (RMB 9,000 to 12,000 per
MT ($1420 to $1,890 per MT) than the same period last year. Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Anhui, and Henan Provinces are the
largest mung bean producers in China, accounting for over 60 percent of total acreage.
Adzuki Bean Production increases 10 percent
For MY 2011/12, adzuki bean production is estimated to rise 10 percent to 275,000 MT on good weather conditions in major
producing areas, especially in north China. Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, and Hebei Provinces account for 50 percent
of China’s total production area. Spring adzuki beans (planted in May-June and harvested in September to October) account
for about 70 percent of China’s total adzuki production (produced in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, and
Hebei). Summer adzuki beans (planted in middle of June and harvested in middle of October) account for 30 percent of
production, and are primarily grown in Shandong, Anhui, Shaanxi, and Henan.
Dried Pea Production Falls due to Higher More Competitively Priced Imports
In MY 2011/12, dried pea production is estimated at 400,000 MT, down 20 percent on less demand as higher labor, input,
and other production costs continue to push up prices, causing processors and end-users to substitute more competitively
priced imported dried peas. However, for this year, because of higher imported dried pea prices, imports are expected to fall,
and industry contacts believe processors will utilize more commercial stocks (see Trade section). China’s major dried pea
producing provinces are Sichuan, Gansu, Yunnan, Shanxi, and Ningxia Provinces.
Lentil Production Unchanged at 25,000 MT
For MY 2011/12, lentil production and planted area are projected at 25,000 MT and 50,000 HA, respectively. Gansu is the
largest lentil producing province in China, accounting for over 70 percent of total lentil acreage, followed by Shaanxi and
Domestically produced broad beans are primarily used for feed. Industry contacts estimate over 50 percent is mixed on-farm
with other grains such as corn and soybeans, while another 30 percent is processed into industrial feed for aquaculture and
dairy. Broad beans can significantly improve the quality of fish meat, such as grass carp, which can be sold for a premium.
High quality dried broad beans are processed into snack foods, vermicelli, starch, and spicy bean sauce/paste. Fresh broad
beans are generally consumed as a seasonal vegetable in China, usually available from March to June.
Mung and Adzuki Beans
Mung beans are popular for Chinese consumers who value its health benefits. Mung beans are traditionally prepared in
gruel and mixed with rice and nuts, as well as used to grow sprouts, a popular vegetable in China. It also is widely utilized in
bean paste, starch, and vermicelli noodle production. Although most mung beans are consumed domestically, some are
exported to neighboring countries, like Japan and South Korea.
A large amount of adzuki beans are processed into bean paste, which is used for pastries, or exported to neighboring
countries. Adzuki and mung beans account for about 50 and 10 percent of China’s total bean paste production, which is
estimated at over 1 MMT per year.
Every year, approximately 80 percent of China’s total kidney bean production is exported. Beans that remain in China are
primarily processed into paste. Industry contacts believe that many Chinese consumers understand kidney bean nutritional
benefits; however, it is not as popular since it takes a long time to cook at home. “Ready-to-eat” kidney bean products, or
possibly canned kidney beans, may receive a greater reception at the marketplace.
Domestic dried peas are used in producing starch, vinegar and bean sauces; while imported dried peas are used for vermicelli
and starch. According to industry statistics, China has about 300 vermicelli processing plants (40 percent are located in
Yantai, Shandong province). In 2010, China’s total vermicelli production was 900,000 MT. Industry contacts report that
dried pea vermicelli accounts for around 20 percent of China’s total vermicelli production, and is the most popular ingredient
since in the last few years it has been relatively less expensive than mung beans, which experienced exorbitantly high prices.
However, this year, some processors may use more mung beans, as prices have dropped compared to last year (see
Production section). Mung beans are preferred by processors who want to serve a higher-end niche market (which implies a
price premium), since it produces a higher quality vermicelli noodle. Other types of vermicelli may use potatoes, sweet
potatoes, and/or lotus as the main ingredient.
In the future, depending on prices, opportunities may exist in substituting corn, soybeans, or domestically produced broad
beans with imported dried peas in feed formulas. Dried pea nutrition density also means fewer pounds of feed may be
needed, which could lower overall costs. The price of imported Canadian dried peas (TRQ+VAT+basis) is around RMB
2,500 per MT ($400 per MT). The current northeast corn price (farm gate) is RMB 2,100 per MT ($330 per MT), and US
soybeans are approximately $525 per MT (fob). Domestic dried broad beans, which are used in dairy and aquaculture feed,
are more expensive than imported dried peas and sell for RMB 3,600 per MT ($570 per MT).
Kidney Bean Exports to Fall 20 percent on High Prices
In MY 2011/12, kidney bean exports are forecast at 720,000 MT, a 20 percent decline on high prices. As mentioned in the
production section, more farmers opted to grow corn, which lowered kidney bean acreage. This resulted in lower overall
total domestic supplies and higher prices. It is uncertain if farmers will continue to plant corn in lieu of kidney beans, which
might cause China to become less competitive in the kidney bean export market.
In MY 2010/11, Brazil was the largest buyer of Chinese kidney beans, and imported 97,487 MT. Although Brazil is a large
kidney bean producer and consumer, imports surged last year because of low Brazilian production. During the same time
period, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Italy, and Venezuela were also top export markets, accounting for 46 percent of
China’s total kidney bean exports.
Dried Pea Imports to Decline 10 percent on High Prices
In MY 2011/12, dried pea imports are projected to decrease 10 percent to 580,000 MT due to a 13 percent drop in global
exportable supplies, which are expected to cause prices to rise. Canada, which dominates the global market (40 to 50 percent
of total global market share), experienced a 25 to 30 percent decline in production on poor weather. Other potential suppliers
such as the US and France also had production declines. In October 2011, in comparison to last year, import prices for dried
peas climbed 40 percent to $447 per MT. Some vermicelli processors noted they would use commercial stocks or, because
of relatively lower mung prices (compared to prior years), may utilize more mung beans to sell to higher-end niche markets.
In MY 2010/11, China’s dried pea imports increased 40 percent to 639,164 MT on strong demand from various food
processing sectors. Canada and the United States are the lead suppliers for China’s imported dried pea market, accounting
for 91 and 8 percent.
On January 24, 2011, China’s Ministry of Health announced that in accordance with the Food Safety Law and the
Administrative Measures on National Food Safety Standards and the approval of the National Food Safety Standard Review
Committee, the previous selenium tolerances have been modified (old tolerance levels are located in Contaminant Limits in
Food (GB2762-2005)). This announcement took effect upon publication. Industry believes the new policy will facilitate
more dried pea imports.
China’s imported dried peas are primarily used for vermicelli and starch production. Industry contacts believe that China’s
vermicelli processors primarily rely on Canadian imports due to price competiveness and familiarity. That being said, other
marketing opportunities might exist in other industries that produce high value products, including snack foods, moon cake
filling, and bakery goods.
In the future, market potential may exist for imported dried beans. Although for many years dried beans have not been a
major part of the Chinese diet, because of increasing awareness among consumers on its health benefits, dried beans are
being utilized more in both traditional and other food products.
Dry beans are traditionally used in gruel or soup (especially in north China) called babaozhou, which also contains rice
and/or millet. Babaozhou is also massed produced as a convenience food, and can be found canned for a quick meal.
Dried beans are used as paste for moon cakes, fried cakes, and other snack food fillings or toppings. However, some of these
products are seasonal, such as moon cakes that are sold only during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which occurs every year
around mid September. Although soybeans are used to produce bean milk, a very popular breakfast beverage, dried beans
and other ingredients are also utilized to introduce new flavored products.
Distribution Channel for Imported Peas
The Agricultural Trade Offices (ATOs) have worked with the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council and several other cooperators
to expand the use of U.S. products in the bakery industry, including featuring recipes with U.S. dried pea, bean, and lentil
products. FAS/China will continue these cooperative market development efforts.
Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics :
Table 1. China’s Pulse Imports
(MT) Description 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 3rd Qtr 2011
Qtr 2010 Qtr 2010 Qtr 2011 Qtr 2011
071310 Peas 117,922 165,910 209,399 116,807 147,048
071390 Legumes 7,757 7,412 6,882 10,796 11,819
071331 Mung Beans 30,762 6,419 1,300 10,511 2,456
071333 Kidney Bean 775 184 489 2,429 721
071340 Lentils 286 32 28 85 69
071332 Bean, adzuki 0 105 777 154 70
071339 Beans, Other 0 0 7 41 0
071320 Chickpea 49 13 24 0 1
071350 Broad Bean 5 0 0 0 32
0713 Pulse 157,555 180,076 218,916 140,822 162,215
Table 2. China’s Dried Pea Imports
Country (MT) 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr
2010 2010 2011 2011 2011
Canada 107,695 139,796 189,746 110,906 143,544
United States 9,624 25,542 18,422 4,120 2,088
Others 603 573 1232 1,781 1,415
Total 117,922 165,910 209,399 116,807 147,048
Table 3. China’s Pulse Exports
3rd 4th 1st 2nd
(MT) Description Qtr 2010 Qtr 2010 Qtr 2011 Qtr 2011 3rd Qtr 2011
071333 Kidney Bean 141,150 282,942 273515 224921 115382
071331 Mung Beans 16,433 39,514 39101 32233 15439
071332 Bean, adzuki 11,171 14,086 15918 14788 7210
071340 Lentils 1,610 9,043 6337 5781 2568
071339 Beans, Other 4,739 5,045 5421 2431 1392
071350 Broad Bean 1,961 4,825 6,827 4,185 2,585
071390 Legumes 469 1,934 1,455 742 468
071310 Peas 698 813 732 469 344
071320 Chickpea 5 0 1 0 0
0713 Pulse 178,231 358,202 349308 285551 145387
Source: Global Trade Atlas
Table 4. China’s Kidney Bean Exports
Country 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr
(MT) 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011
India 23,901 10,765 31,805 28,428 6,419
United States 6,242 3,574 1,330 6,813 10,331
Pakistan 13,925 16,510 16,660 29,893 11,775
South Africa 21,832 17,978 21,401 29,661 23,053
Brazil 3,747 15,317 46,590 22,532 18,844
Costa Rica 2,591 7,421 10,734 6,804 3,753
Italy 5,619 5,380 16,084 14,997 12,462
United Kingdom 2,086 1,330 936 2,302 2,210
Congo Dem. Rep. 3,878 2,194 3,723 4,233 3,692
Dominican Republic 2,939 784 2,201 1,539 2,886
Turkey 3,875 876 22,770 12,919 4,080
Guatemala 1,944 3,478 4,368 6,114 5,516
United Arab Emirates 3,889 6,158 11,514 14,317 13,329
Others 63,999 49,385 92,832 92,962 106,573
Total 160,460 141,150 282,942 273,515 224,921
Source: Global Trade Atlas